No. 13 Xavier 86, IPFW 63

BY foxsports • November 16, 2011

Tu Holloway was happy to be back following a one-game suspension, though with the Musketeers' added depth this season, Xavier's point guard spent much of the first half deferring to his teammates.

Holloway scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half Tuesday night to lead No. 13 Xavier to an 86-63 victory over IPFW.

The Musketeers (2-0) also got 21 points from Mark Lyons and 16 from freshman Dezmine Wells. Nine players scored for Xavier.

''I went through spurts tonight when I didn't have to shoot,'' Holloway said. ''Last year I felt like I needed to be aggressive. It's nice to sit back and be a point guard and let the game come to me.''

Holloway was suspended for the season opener against Morgan State for playing in too many summer league games, a violation of NCAA rules.

''It was nice to have an All-American back in the lineup,'' said Xavier head coach Chris Mack. ''I thought he had a calming presence in the game. He makes things easier for everybody.''

Xavier also got a big second half from Lyons, who had just two points at halftime but went 7 for 7, including 4 for 4 from 3-point range, after the break.

Wells scored a team-leading 12 points in the first half.

''With Mark (Lyons) and I driving to the rim and creating double-teams it's going to open up some shots,'' Holloway said. ''We have some great shooters.''

Frank Gaines led IPFW (1-1) with 22 points. Michael Kibiloski added 13 for the Mastodons.

Xavier now leads the all-time series 4-0, including last year's 76-66 overtime victory. Tuesday's game wasn't as close.

Holloway hit a 3-pointer in the midst of a 9-0 first-half run which put the Musketeers ahead 14-6. His second 3-pointer made the score 31-18.

''We allowed Wells and Holloway to hit shots early,'' said IPFW head coach Tony Jasick. ''You can't come into this building and allow them to hit shots early and feel good about themselves.''

Holloway had eight points in the first half. He finished with six assists.

''It was tough sitting on the bench, but it was just a one-game suspension,'' Holloway said. ''Felt good to be back.''

Before Holloway caught fire it was Lyons who took charge early in the second half, scoring 9 of Xavier's first 11 points.

Wells' two-handed dunk off a lob from Lyons put Xavier up 44-24. Wells led Xavier with seven rebounds. He also went 2 of 4 from 3-point range. Lyons had five assists.

''We have a lot of guys who can score,'' Lyons said. ''I came out in the second half and was a little more aggressive. My teammates found me in good positions.''

Wells' dunk energized the crowd, but the Musketeers had 16 turnovers and got a little too fancy at times for Mack, who glared at Lyons after another lob attempt to Wells sailed out of bounds.

''Sometimes we play the score,'' Mack said. ''That's what practice is for. I'm not going to lose my mind over it.''

Lyons redeemed himself by hitting consecutive 3-pointers to make the score 66-45 with less than 10 minutes remaining. Xavier was 11 of 21 from 3-point range. The Musketeers are shooting 48.6 percent this season from beyond the arc.

With a big lead, Xavier got sloppy and IPFW went on a run to cut the deficit to 67-52 with 7:05 left.

But a 3-pointer by Lyons put the Musketeers in front 72-55 and they never looked back.

Lyons limped off the court with 56.6 seconds remaining after injuring his ankle, but appeared to be OK after the game.

''I just rolled it a little bit,'' he said.

Justin Martin scored eight points and Kenny Frease added six for Xavier, which had 11 players with at least one rebound. The Musketeers shot 56.1 percent, including 67.9 percent in the second half.

''I'm blessed as a head coach to have so many talented guys,'' Mack said. ''I wish I could look in each guy's heart and see who's going to bring it on a given night. As time goes on we need to figure out who we need on the court in given situations.''

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